I’m a doctor and here’s 4 symptoms you should never ignore affecting your bum

It’s generally embarrassing to talk about bums.

Even with a doctor, it can be excruciatingly embarrassing to mention symptoms somewhere down there.

We don't talk about our butts often... But a gynecologist wants people to talk to their doctor and get a diagnosis

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We don’t talk about our butts often… But a gynecologist wants people to talk to their doctor and get a diagnosisPhoto credit: Getty

A doctor urges women to overcome their shame.

Julie Bowring, a gynecologist at London Gynecology and Colposcopy, told The Sun: “We know that women’s vaginas are already stigmatized and I suspect it’s even harder or just as hard to talk about your bum.”

Every day, Julie sees dozens of women brave enough to come forward and admit that something might be wrong down there.

More often than not, it turns out to be something that’s easy to fix.

Julie said: “The worst thing people are probably worried about is whether their symptoms are related to cancer.

“Anal cancer is relatively rare, but because of the location of the anus, it is difficult for a patient to see or know for sure what is going on there.

“Most of the time bumps, bumps, etc. are something benign.”

Around 1,500 people in the UK are diagnosed with anal cancer each year, meaning it accounts for less than one per cent of cancer cases.

Symptoms include itching, bleeding, pain, and small lumps around and in the buttocks.

But these symptoms around the entrance to the butt may have other, less worrisome causes.

Julie said, “If your symptoms are persistent, you should get them checked out.”

It’s also important to pay attention to any symptoms related to your gut – like blood in your stools and changes in your stool.

1. ITCHING

Itchy buttocks can be caused by many harmless things, including sweat, tight underwear, or too much cleaning between the buttocks.

But if none of that is an obvious cause, there may be an underlying skin problem, Julie says.

“Eczema, psoriasis, or irritation from really simple things like laundry detergent,” she said.

Eczema and psoriasis make the skin red, dry and scaly.

Julie said, “All of these things need to be checked.”

Itching is also an important sign of hemorrhoids, known medically as haemorrhoids, which is a condition in which the blood vessels in and around the anus dilate.

It also causes bleeding after defecation, a slimy phlegm and lumps and pain around the anus.

It’s not exactly clear why hemorrhoids develop, but risk factors are thought to include straining when going to the toilet, constipation, pregnancy, and heavy lifting.

A pharmacist can help treat hemorrhoids. But if there is no improvement after a week or the problem persists, you should see your GP.

2. BLEEDING

Bleeding is one of the more concerning but less common symptoms, Julie said.

“But again, that could be related to something easily treatable like hemorrhoids,” she said.

“Occasionally, women develop small cuts on the skin known as a fissure.”

An anal fissure is a tear or open sore in the lining of the large intestine near the anus.

It causes painful bowel movements, which can last for a few hours, and bleeding.

There are dozens of causes of fissures, from pregnancy to constipation to irritable bowel syndrome, and doctors are familiar with diagnosing them — so don’t be shy.

Julie said: “Bleeding should be evaluated by a GP.”

Blood in your stool or from the rectum is also an important sign of colon cancer.

3. Lumps and bumps

“Some women may notice lumps or small bumps of skin around the anal canal or buttocks, and a common reason could be a skin tag,” Julie said.

Small raised bumps on the outer skin can also be harmless warts.

They can be so small that they are imperceptible and blend in with your skin color.

Julie said: “Not all patients are happy with this plan, but if the warts are tiny they don’t need treatment. Some patients just have to wait and see.”

The warts can grow and become uncomfortable and more noticeable to the eye, especially as they accumulate.

There are several treatments for anal warts, including liquid nitrogen freezing and creams.

Genital warts, including anal warts, are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) – an infection transmitted through sexual contact that is very common and most people get it at some point in their lives.

It usually goes away on its own without treatment, but if it lingers it can cause genital warts.

HPV can also sometimes cause cervical, anal, and penile cancer. But the type of HPV that causes genital warts rarely leads to cancer.

Meanwhile, larger lumps protruding from the anus can be caused by hemorrhoids or prolapse.

Rectal prolapse is when the rectum – the last part of the colon – slips and falls out of the anus.

It can produce a bulging sensation, like sitting on a ball, as well as pain and bleeding.

Julie said: “Incident is uncommon in younger women. But rarely can prolapse of the retum occur in postmenopausal women.”

4. PAIN

Finally, pain can be a symptom of any of the conditions previously described – fissures, hemorrhoids, or prolapse.

Less common causes of anal pain are proctalgia fugax – a condition that causes episodes of sudden, severe anal pain, each lasting a few minutes.

The NHS says medicines that relax the muscles in the pelvis can help with this condition.

What now?

Julie said: “A combination of all these symptoms could also indicate an infection and if you’re worried there are tests to look for.

“You could go to a sexual health clinic or your GP can include it in their testing.

“If you look at things like chlamydia or gonorrhea, it’s most likely in the vulva. But in some cases it is important to do an anal swab.”

So after all, when should you take a little itch here or a painful trip to the bathroom there seriously?

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Julie said there is no time frame that justifies you being checked out.

If you’re concerned about your symptoms that won’t go away, don’t hesitate – see your GP.

https://www.the-sun.com/health/4363351/symptoms-bum-what-they-mean-itching-pain-lump/ I’m a doctor and here’s 4 symptoms you should never ignore affecting your bum

Emma James

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